Thursday, May 5, 2016

One more finish

We are getting ready for an extended trip but I did manage to get one more quilt finished. There are three more quilts - four if you count the table runner - waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. 

This is one of two coin quilts I made. The other has red instead of white and is in that "waiting to be finished" pile.

My stash is arranged by color and then further divided by the size of the pieces - fat quarters and larger AND smaller than fat quarters. This quilt is made from the smaller pieces. I love using those small 'leftover' pieces of fabric. 

The binding is also scrappy. I save my leftover binding pieces Oh my, I'm beginning to sound like a hoarder! and enjoy using them on quilts like this.

This quilt is 62" by 64". I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread for the piecing and quilting. The quilting is straight lines done with a walking foot. The lines are the same direction as the long white strips.

This is a donation quilt. I'm hoping someone finds it rather cheery. 

Now I will get back to my to-do list. We leave on Wednesday for about a number of weeks. I'll be checking in every so often and keep you updated.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A fun long weekend

Last Friday, we headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ray's brother, Ron, and his significant other, Pam, live there. We had the use of Ron's apartment for the weekend. Free lodging - Nice! The four of us spent a little time in the NewBo District late Friday afternoon. The New Bohemian Main Street District is a real happening area. Many of the old buildings have been rehabbed into neat studios, shops, lofts, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. It was wonderful to see the architecture and the re-purposing of the buildings. Many had the original brick walls and the tin ceilings.

Pam was so gracious to search out a quilt shop for me in that area, Delve/MIY. Delve/Make It Yourself, has a number of designers who have their designs printed to the fabric in Korea, I think. 

The shop is all about color - it was SO FUN!!!

Of course I found a lot I wanted to take home but I settled for just four pieces.
The piece on the right is super neat!
We had dinner at Bata's. Ray and I had a Flatbread Brick Oven Pizza on Naan - Smoked Chicken. We thought it might not be enough for both of us, so we also ordered the Bata Bread - "Nick's famous flatbread with butter, garlic, brown sugar, mozzarella and provolone cheeses". Oh My! Everything was wonderful.

On Saturday, Ray had a photography workshop with Moose Peterson, a well-known photographer. The workshop was the reason for our visit. Ray said it was fantastic. So he had a great day! 

I also had a great day! Ron and Pam were my  guides for the day while Ron was also our chauffeur. We began the day at a quilt shop. These two know how to make my day fantastic! 

Inspired to Sew is a shop full of inspiration and lots of gorgeous fabric, much of it bright colors - my favorite. 

I wanted it all, well maybe there were three bolts I wasn't as fond of... 

I settled for just a couple of pieces:

Our day continued on - we went to EcoFest which was in the NewBo District. It was great to go back because there was so much that we didn't get to see Friday night. I still didn't get to see it all so we will have to return someday! On Saturday, there were many tents set up for the fest and live music. We took a tour bus to Mount Trashmore, the highest point in Cedar Rapids. 
Ron and Pam on Mount Trashmore
It was quite a view looking down on the city. I found the trip very educational. The whole day was FUN! We had lunch at the Parlor City Pub & Eatery. I would return just to have the Apple Chicken Salad again!

When Ray finished his workshop, we all went out to eat at Zio Johnos Spaghetti House. Rumor has it that Ron moved to Cedar Rapids because of this spaghetti! We thought it was delicious too but we aren't planning a move!

On Sunday, Ray and I headed south to Boonville, Missouri. We rented a house that was nice, clean, and comfy. We walked a little of the Katy trail and got onto the 'new bridge'. The bridge is an old train trestle that has just opened for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Visitor Center in Boonville, Missouri
We visited Warm Springs Ranch, the breeding farm for the Budweiser Clydesdales. The ranch is beautiful. I loved the white fences and the red buildings. Everything was pristine.

We had a tour and learned so much. We saw many of the horses and a few of their foals. I think about half of the foals have been born - 32 are expected this year. The next foal was expected just hours after we were there. Each weighs about 150 pounds at birth! 

This little one was about 8 weeks old. 

This big fellow has the job of greeter. He was available for photos with anyone in our group.

We headed home this morning. It was a long drive and we encountered some storms but it all ended well. Now, we have things to do, people to see, and places to go. It's time to get busy!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Zigzag Quilt

I have a finish! It's been a while but I do get in a little stitching time every so often. I began this quilt at a retreat in early February. I used a photo on Pinterest as inspiration. I cannot find the origin of the photo so I can't give credit for the original idea. 

Today is another gorgeous day here so I used our yard and our neighbor's fence for photos. The quilt is about 57" square. I used Dream Cotton batting. 

The quilt is pieced from my stash. I buy white fabric by the bolt so there is always white available. 

I quilted this using large loops. You can see a close up of the quilting in this postI used Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this.

I think the back is rather neat too.

I love the bright colors, especially the orange, and the design of this quilt. I'm putting it in my donation pile and hope someone else will love it too.

... the path of progress has never taken a straight line, 
but has always been a zigzag course ...
~Kelly Miller

Sunday, April 3, 2016

It was a great retreat!

For the past 5 years, I've been a part of this great group of women. 
Add caption
We go on retreat each year at the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, Illinois. We try to get together for lunch at least one other time during the year. That means we aren't all together often but you'd never know it when we gather each year for our retreat! We talk, we eat, we laugh, we share, and we SEW, SEW, SEW!

Betsy did handwork and had to leave us a day early for a family obligation. 
We all had phone time!
Ann worked on a number of scrappy blocks. One had over 50 pieces.

There were a number of finished tops and even some finished quilts! I'm not sure I got photos of everything - I was pretty busy having fun!

Krista's quilts:

Sandy's quilts:

Barb's quilts:

I didn't take any photos of Polly's 365 Challenge blocks but they were intriguing. Polly's quilts:

 Saundra's Disappearing 9-Patch:

Saundra also had a darling monster quilt but I only got a bit of it in this photo.

And last, my quilts:

I had a great time but it is nice to be home. I'm unpacked and I know I will sleep well tonight!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Keeping busy

Oh my, it must looks like I haven't done anything for a while - WRONG! I'm keeping busy!

I helped make mission pies a few days. Our church, along with a few others, take orders and make pies before Easter and Thanksgiving each year. The profits go toward our mission trips. We have a small core group of volunteers that do most of the work during the week and then volunteers from each of the churches come to help mostly on Saturdays.  Ray makes crumb topping and I roll pie dough. Every time we work, it takes a day or two for our bodies to recover.
These pies are sooooo good!
I began quilting this quilt - I just need a little more time! I took it off of the machine so I could attend a day retreat at Lucky 2B Quilting last week and haven't had time to get it finished. I had a great time at the retreat but did not take one picture!

I made a gift but I can't show it yet. Here's a peek:

I've been knitting but I ended up frogging a pair of cool socks because they were too big. I'll knit them again with a different pattern. 
Cool yarn from Knit Circus
I finished knitting Ray's sweater - I just need to sew the pieces together.

I mended two jackets for Ray. Ugh! I really do love him or else I wouldn't have done this! I had to go through inside seams to get to the areas to mend. This took most of two days. It took more than four hours just to tear the cuffs off of one jacket (the elastic was worn out). Does anyone like to mend???

I dehydrated some rice to make instant rice. Instant rice made this way still has all of the nutrients. I cooked some brown rice in chicken broth and when it was done, I added some soy sauce. Then I dehydrated it. Now we have instant flavored rice which we'll be trying soon!

I'm getting things ready for an upcoming quilt retreat.

We decided to go on a little get away in April - a photo class for Ray, a visit with family, and a tour of the Budweiser Clydesdales Breeding Farm. It will be fun and we're hoping to see some foals.

And we are both still finalizing things for our upcoming trip to the northeast in a couple of months.

Time seems to be flying by so I'll just wish everyone a Happy Easter now. May God bless you.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bright Baby Boy Quilt

The baby boy quilt is finished! I now have a baby boy quilt and a baby girl quilt ready for when the May baby arrives. The extra quilt will be donated.

The boy quilt is bright! I wanted to do pinwheels in the center and I wanted a border fabric to pull the colors from. I bought the border fabric - and then found I couldn't use it because it was too busy with pinwheels. Sorry about the wrinkles in the fabric.

So... I cut strips from the fabric and used the cars and the stars. It was going to be a very simple quilt to make and turned out to be a bit more work but I think it turned out better for the extra work.

The quilt is about 46" square and the batting is Dream Cotton. I used straight stitching and a walking foot to quilt this.

The backing is Minkee that I ordered from Missouri Star Quilt Company. I am very happy with the Minkee. In fact, I'm very happy with everything that I've ordered and/or bought at Missouri Star Quilt Company.

I'm so glad that our neighbors have this short but tall fence which is perfect to hang my quilts on for photos. I especially enjoy using it on beautiful days.


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